Paine College announced on Wednesday that it has been approved for membership in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). The announcement comes a year after its tenure as a member of the NCAA Division II SIAC ended.
“We are indeed excited to join the National Christian College Athletic Association,” said Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones, President of Paine College. “Consistent with the mission of the NCCAA, we will be able to use athletics and athletic competitions to further develop spiritually-centered student-athletes to assume positions of leadership and service.”
Paine’s athletic transition was a result of an academic decision. After a near-decade-long battle to retain accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the school lost its appeal in 2020. That forced it to leave the NCAA.
“We are excited to welcome, or welcome back, new members who find a mission-fit partnership with our association,’ NCCAA Executive Director Dan Wood. “These institutions are diverse in their focus but unified in the Kingdom targeted mission. The NCCAA looks forward to serving them in their efforts!”
The Lions will compete as an NCCAA DI South Region member beginning July 1, 2021. Paine will sponsor men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and volleyball while also adding men’s and women’s golf in the fall of 2022.
Paine briefly had a football program, but it lasted one year before being shut down due to funding. That took place around the same time the issues around accreditation came into play.
“On behalf of our student-athletes, and the entire Paine College community we are very excited to be joining the National Christian College Athletic Association,” Director of Athletics Selina Kohn said in a statement. “Joining the NCCAA will allow Paine to continue to emphasize our spiritual values, ethical and social responsibility, and academic excellence while accomplishing athletic endeavors.”